The debate over gay marriage is, perhaps, misguided. Rather than extend the franchise, why not just scrap the practice?
I admit that I’m biased against marriage by observation of my parents. It seemed to be an arrangement in which a male alcoholic slumped in a chair, binge-drinking and channel-surfing; he had a whistle around his neck to call an unhappy female, who waited on him in exchange for tantrums. I affirm the right of consenting adults to pursue their own pleasures; still, I made a mental note to skip this one.
Not all marriages may be that dismal. But the institution itself remains an incoherent mixture of unrelated elements. The “traditional” marriage is, simultaneously, a commitment between two people to pursue a sexual relationship, and a legal contract about financial and medical rights.
The former is a private agreement, and is nobody else’s business, least of all the government’s. The latter is paperwork, and the sexual activities of the signatories are as irrelevant as what they ate for lunch. I’ve never seen what one had to do with the other.
Marriage was also often seen as a set-up for raising baby humans; and as a religious sacrament. As far as the former goes, many couples pursue coupledom and contracts without benefit of brat; and, in turn, Nature pops out infants based on its own criteria of sexual attraction and fertility, with utter contempt for whether the breeders paid a clerk at a courthouse. Religion is another matter. Anyone who believes him or herself guided by a huge vaporous Imaginary Playmate is non compos mentis, and should be barred from legal responsibilities, parenthood, and dating.
The oft-expressed idea that marriage should be preserved because it is “traditional” is, simply, evil. Just because humans have long done something doesn’t make it desirable; unless we are also willing to cherish, on the same grounds, such “traditions” as monarchy, warfare, genocide, rape, juggling, card tricks, genital mutilation, child abuse, and the full cornucopia of human folly and cruelty.
So, gays and straights alike, look forward rather than backward; and leave behind all of that claptrap. You don’t need it; you have each other.
(Posted by Doug Skinner)